Monday, March 1, 2010

Yes, this is still a "wine blog" or "Comedic Prowess as a metaphor for Spanish Wine"

I feel like my little corner of cyberspace has been self-hijacked by the snotty little vegetarian/vegan I've temporarily become. Vegetables- virtues acknowledged- are just not as exciting. Especially when compared to wine. Vegetables, pitted vs. wine, are crap. Less than crap. They're boring, they're not sexy, and they usually make you have to go to the bathroom.

So, horrid visualizations aside, let's talk a little vino. I've been mad silly about Spanish wine lately. This country grows TONS of grapes...2.9 million acres under vine (source: You guessed it: Spain has more vineyard acreage than ANY other country out there. Behind France and Italy in wine production, Spain is #3, and it is the #1 exporter of wine in the world (source: my brain, fool! You wanna step to this, cool breeze?). Alright, I'm doubting myself on the exporting thing. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Big time producer, right? But Spain's clearly not flossing the notoriety of its neighbors. Look at it from a comedic perspective (it's about time we had some comedy on this stinkin' blog): France is the Eddie Murphy...ruled the world back in the day, incredibly talented, a pricey ticket, but a real pretentious ass when interviewed. Italy is the Andrew Dice Clay: old school, rough-around-the-edges, but will always command a high dollar, because no one gets sick of Barolo, Brunello, or dirty nursery rhymes. Spain...ah, Spain is the Rodney Dangerfield. Tons of talent, no respect.

But people are noticing. Big time. Sort of like after Caddyshack, or- in my humble opinion- after Back to School...Dangerfield and Oingo Boingo together in one movie? 'Zounds. That's all I can say. 'Zounds.

And when people start noticing, the price goes up. So go out and find some Spanish values while you can!

The latest Iberian grape getting me bug-eyed and sweaty is Garnacha (aka "Grenache" most everywhere else in the world). I'm a huge fan of wines from France's Rhône Valley, particularly Syrah-based gems, but as the weather (c'mon weather) starts to warm into Spring, I'm jonesin' for something a little lighter than the war-hammer-to-the-temple power and structure of Syrah. This is where Garnacha comes in. It manifests in wines that are much lighter, less-extracted, and lower in tannin than its more-notable Rhône bedfellow. That being said, Garnacha is no pillow-pusher. The wines are almost always characterized by two thumbprints: intense aromas and flavors of strawberries, and substantial alcohol that makes you want to start shouting things en Español. ¡Dios Mio!

So, if you're gonna give Spain some respect, give its Garnacha some love, too. One well-worth the under-$15 price tag is the 2007 Atteca Old Vines Garnacha. Pretty, but subtle (an "old world" attribute) bouquet of a bowl of fresh berries: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries on the nose. In the mouth, more blackberries, pepper, spice, and a hefty, but not offensive, kick of heat on the back end from the 14.5% alcohol. Tart (but not really acidic), jammy, easy-drinking delight. I think I paid $13.99, and I've drank a LOT worse for that scratch.

2007 Atteca? Garnacha? Spanish Wine? Easy money, my friends. Easy money. How's that for respect, Rod?

...and, yes, I'm completely ruining my tidy wrap-up of this post, but I just got to thinking, what with all the Oingo Boingo-talk: why are parties in 80's movies so much better than any party...ever? I'm just sayin'...

blog comments powered by Disqus